past, present and future

PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE

PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE   Past, present and future are important aspects of one’s journey. Do you put more weight on one segment of your life than others? How does that affect who you are and how you live your life? Past – 2016 (or even further past) Present – this moment – today Future – Hopes and/or Fears I recently watched the last half of “It’s a Wonderful Life” with James Stewart playing George Bailey. Most of my readers have probably seen the movie, so I will not go into depth regarding the plot. If you have not watched “It’s a Wonderful Life”, you may enjoy it! George Bailey is desperate and suicidal. George is facing financial ruin and even jail. An angel trying to get his wings saves George. This angel then proceeds to show George what his life would have been like if he had not lived. George also sees what occurred to others who did not have George in his life. These experiences of seeing life as if he had not been born gave George a different perspective of his life in the present. He returns to his wife and children filled with joy. Whether he ...
grief, light and love

GRIEF, LIGHT and LOVE

GRIEF, LIGHT and LOVE   Grief, light and love may be a part of your holiday season. Although we picture the ideal peace and joy of the season, many of us experience grief as well. The reasons for grieving are varied. I do not need to enumerate them here. Each of us know what causes us heartbreak, sadness, and grief. Recently I was unexpectedly struck by grief. This sadness was precipitated by the realization that it has been ten years since I spent the holidays with my daughter. Years are gone. The love is not lost though. Aeschylus wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.” As I sat … in tears … I once again realized that grief had struck. Grief is like that. It comes and goes. Grief has a life of its own. The intensity may lessen over time. Sometimes we need to revisit hurts and losses of our past to process them further. This revisiting can be surprisingly healing. Bittersweet is a word someone used to describe the loss of a parent ...
holiday stress solutions

HOLIDAY STRESS SOLUTIONS

HOLIDAY STRESS SOLUTIONS   Holiday stress solutions are as varied as the actual difficulties. This time of year, there are many articles on the subject. I am no expert, but I do have experience in handling the stress of the season. This week I noticed that I was operating on stress overload. One of the most important holiday stress solutions is to sleep! Yes, sleep! Sleep is a necessity. Most of us tend to sleep less during this season because of work, holiday activities, and even insomnia. Instead of thinking that sleep is not a priority, please think again. An article that recently resonated with me speaks to the sleep issue. Although the article has no relationship to the holidays, I want to share it with each of you. “After a Breakup, an App to Help Breathe, Then Run” stresses the importance of breathing and sleeping. (Here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/fashion/modern-love-breakup-app-breathing-running-therapy.html?_r=2 .) This article also emphasizes using intuition as well as your head. Sleep brings clarity which brings better decision-making. The body and mind need to rest. Last night, I slept for ten hours. It was a deep, refreshing sleep. Wonderful! Christmas present shopping is on many people’s lists. Unfortunately ...
joy and freedom

JOY and FREEDOM

JOY AND FREEDOM   Joy and freedom is a glorious topic for a blog post! When one has survived the horrors of abuse and torture, freedom is especially precious. Sometimes human beings can take freedom for granted as well as joy. Recently I had an extremely short chance encounter with my former defense attorney, Alan Rosenfeld. Alan Rosenfeld with my former public defense attorney successful defended me when I was charged with custodial interference. I was a protective parent who attempted to keep my daughter, Megan, safe from further abuse from her father and others. The jury trial ended in a hung jury. Charges were eventually dismissed. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Alan Rosenfeld as an attorney and as a man. His continued commitment to help battered women and their children is remarkable. (Alan’s website is: http://alanrosenfeld.com/) Later that day I had a phone conversation with a dear friend. As we shared our lives, I was sitting on a bench by a creek. It was quiet around me except for the sounds of the ducks walking on the thin ice. Day ended and evening began. As I walked, I saw the Christmas lights in the park as ...
triggers - surprise attacks

TRIGGERS: SURPRISE ATTACKS

TRIGGERS: SURPRISE ATTACKS   You are well on your healing road. Life is moving along smoothly or smoothly enough. You, as a survivor of abuse or trauma, most probably have insight regarding what triggers you. One day you realize old behaviors have returned. Maybe you are drinking more alcohol than normal, or you are turning to food or away from food, or you reenact part of the past abuse/torture, or suddenly you have a dream (or dream segment) that contains parts of what occurred during the abuse. Maybe you are irritable and less tolerant than normal. You realize that triggers have attacked you by surprise! What do you do? How do you cope? First, sit and breathe ….. More insight is available! You are growing and healing further. As you sit and breathe, relax. Let go of preconceived notions. In fact, let go of all thoughts for 5 – 10 – 20 minutes. Hear the silence as your noisy thoughts move in and out of your mind as clouds move across the sky. Pay little notice. Sit with yourself, your true inner being. Now, as calmness and clarity becomes prominent, reflect on the last days or weeks. Triggers can be ...
abundance and gratitude

ABUNDANCE and GRATITUDE

ABUNDANCE and GRATITUDE   Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America. Where does your abundance lie? For many, Thanksgiving Day is filled with an abundance of food and loving connections. Most unfortunately, there are those who may not have enough to eat or do not have family or friends to share the day. I have fond memories of preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner at my great-aunt’s home. It was fun. The preparations and the actually day were fun. Cousins came. We ate. The kids played. No abuse occurred during the day. I was safe. For me, I will forever think of Thanksgiving as the day before my daughter, Megan, and I were discovered in 2007. Our lives were changed forever. The day after Thanksgiving in 2014 also stands out in my mind. That day I fell and seriously injured my face and teeth. I still eagerly wait for the day of Thanksgiving to be finished and the entire Thanksgiving weekend to be in the past once more. Oh, each year there is less angst and a bit more joy creeps into my world. I cling to gratitude during the season from Thanksgiving to my birthday in January. ...
holiday life coach

HOLIDAY LIFE COACH

 HOLIDAY LIFE COACH   Let me be your holiday life coach! It would be a privilege! The holidays are approaching. Whether you view the holidays through a religious, spiritual, or secular lens, this time of year most likely contains extra stress. This season is stressful for those who are survivors of abuse and trauma or not. Not many are immune to the extra pressures. If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse or childhood trauma of any type, you may experience more challenges. If the abuser was a family member, seeing the perpetrator at family gatherings may be triggering. Many survivors no longer have the abuse/perpetrator in their lives at all. This physical detachment from the abuser may cause ripple effects. The possibility exists that you are ostracized (overtly or covertly) by other family members. Maybe you now feel family-less. Some survivors of childhood abuse are labeled mentally ill especially by the abuser. If you do not accept the perpetrator’s view (and others related to the abuser), you quite likely feel the added pressure of not being believed. "They are committing the greatest indignity human beings can inflict on one another: telling people who have suffered excruciating pain and ...